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Net Zero’s days are numbered? Why Europeans are souring on the climate agenda

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From LifeSiteNews

By Frank Wright

Dr. Benny Peiser recently spoke about how the E.U. and various European nations have started a ‘rollback’ of their climate agendas due to ‘increasing costs and increasing hostility from the public.’

A recent presentation given in Canada brings welcome news to the reality-based community: Net Zero’s days are numbered. The costs of the “utopian” green agenda have been realized, and the public are not buying it any more.

This is the message of Dr. Benny Peiser of the Global Warming Policy Foundation, who was in Calgary on April 9 to speak about “Europe’s Net Zero rebellion and the implications for Canada.”

“The game is over for anyone who is willing to commit industrial suicide through the implementation of Net Zero policies,” he says, going on to cite public opinion and political decisions which are driving the political agenda of the future.

Peiser shows how the European Union and the nations of Sweden, France, Germany, Britain, and Italy have started this “rollback” – due to “increasing costs and increasing hostility from the public.”

Saying that Canada, where he spoke, is “maybe five years” behind the Net Zero rollback in Europe, he said the agenda was in retreat there as its “astronomical” costs have now been grasped by the public.

“This is direct,” he says.

We have been telling [the public] for 15 years this will be very expensive … and your energy bills are going up because of the renewables.

This is all far too abstract for people. They don’t get that.

Citing reports which show that Net Zero will cost over a trillion euros a year, every year, he says:

This they get directly – the car they can’t drive, the way they heat their homes. What they’re allowed to do.

That has caused huge opposition and a lot of headache for governments.

Peiser says political parties across Europe have realized that they face being swept from power in the forthcoming elections in June.

Politics pivots back to reality

The headaches Peiser cites include the near collapse of the German government late last year over a policy to make heat pumps compulsory. A week after Peiser’s talk, news came that the Scottish coalition government has collapsed, with the Greens withdrawing support from the ruling SNP after the abandonment of climate change targets.

Politicians are faced with a choice between electoral oblivion and public opinion, and Peiser says this has led to structural change in European policy.

Peiser believes that the enormous public support behind the farmer protests, coupled with green policies creating crisis in the German government, has made the E.U. think again.

“As a result of these protests governments and the European Commission itself have begun to cave in,” Peiser said. “They are not just losing farmers but a large chunk of the public at the same time.”

Peiser is aware that election cycles see politicians shelve unpopular policies – only to resume them after the votes have been counted. Yet he notes a structural change in priorities.

“The E.U. in its draft agenda for the next five years has decided to relegate climate and shift to defense,” he continued, saying that the European Union is shifting from the green agenda to the “real agenda.”

This pivot to reality is one that is long overdue. As Peiser points out, the case for Net Zero is one that is made out of words, not of facts. To take one example, that of electric vehicles, he says “the biggest fear in Europe is not climate change. The biggest fear is cheap electric vehicles from China.”

The E.U.’s recent Net Zero Industry Act (NZIA) has been shaded by economic and industrial concerns, as well as fear from the climate lobby that it too is a rollback of Net Zero commitments.

Passed on April 25, its name alone would suggest business as usual for the climate agenda.

However, in a press conference introducing the Act last November, German “conservative” MEP Christian Ehler was keen to anticipate criticism from the Green lobby, saying “this is not an attempt to scrap social achievements or environmental law.”

Ehler stressed the need to keep industry “on our side” and that the past practices of regulation threatens the economic future of European industry,

It’s simply reflecting the very fact that our industry is burdened by regulation in a way that we can’t expect them to succeed – if we really want to have them on our side – and if we really have to have an economic future for the European industry.

READ: New documentary exposes climate agenda as ‘scam’ to increase globalist power and profit

An act in name only

This may explain why, according to two experts, the Act is in fact just words. Yet it is not only the threat of Green-inspired regulation which faces European industry.

Chinese dominance of the market has rendered E.U. Net Zero measures to create a “sustainable” industry producing “green technology” such as solar panels mere “paper tigers,” according to one analyst.

Simone Tagliapietra, a senior fellow at think-tank Bruegel said this in response to the E.U.’s new Act.

His comments, reported by Euractiv on April 26, included an explanation why the legislation “doesn’t change anything.”

A second analyst, Nils Redeker of the Berlin-based Jacques Delors Centre, agreed according to Euractiv that the new measures “could, in practice, and will most likely, be ignored.”

The green lights are going out all over Europe, most obviously in what was once its industrial and economic powerhouse.

Germany in crisis

Following a budget crisis which also threatened the survival of the German government’s “Red/Green/Yellow” or “traffic light” coalition last November, the former E.U. paymaster of Germany was said to be “likely in recession.”

The February 19 report by the Daily Telegraph noted the resulting “uncertainty” over Net Zero implementation. This is another sign of the impact of reality on the deeply unpopular policies of what Peiser called the “utopia” imagined by the Green lobby.

The Daily Telegraph also reported that the German central bank had warned of “no end in sight” for the “ongoing weakness” of Europe’s largest economy.

The Bundesbank added that “uncertainty regarding climate and transformation policy remains elevated.”

In his analysis of the electoral cost of Net Zero, Peiser seems to have read the room very well. The political climate has changed. 

As the British government is faced with power cuts over soaring demand for electricity, its refusal to build more gas-fired power stations may see the actual lights go out as well as the figurative beacon of an agenda the Conservative Party have greenlit for years.

U.K. climate chief quits

The outgoing head of the U.K.’s climate change committee has conceded that Net Zero is a toxic brand:

Net Zero has definitely become a slogan that I feel occasionally is now unhelpful, because it’s so associated with the campaigns against it.

Chris Stark, who looks exactly as you would imagine he would, blamed a minority faction of imaginary “culture warriors” whilst saying on April 22 in The Guardian that the cost of living was effectively irrelevant.

“It’s the culture warriors who have really taken against it,” said Stark. “A small group of politicians or political voices has moved in to say that net zero is something that you can’t afford, net zero is something that you should be afraid of … But we’ve still got to reduce emissions. In the end, that’s all that matters.”

Stark’s missionary zeal is untouched by a Europe-wide survey cited by in Peiser’s presentation. According to the survey, conducted in January by the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR), it is the climate zealots themselves who are the minority. 

With a sample from 12 European nations, it shows a clear majority in 10 countries for “reducing energy bills” over “reducing carbon emissions.” In Germany, support for lower energy costs is more than twice that for the higher ones promised by “reducing emissions.”

Peiser explained, “What [the survey] tells you is that a clear minority of Europeans are prioritizing the climate issue over their energy cost issue.”

READ: Climate expert warns against extreme ‘weather porn’ from alarmists pushing ‘draconian’ policies

Describing the clear majority of European citizens against the cost of Net Zero, he says “that is the most dramatic change I’ve seen in the last 20 years.” 

This “realization of cost moment” is one which Peiser shows had been predicted in the 1970s by Anthony Downs, whose “issue attention cycle” predicted public understanding of the true cost as the point beyond which climate policies will no longer enjoy public support.

The graph roughly charts the interest and support of the public, which moves from ignorance of the “problem” to generate public support through a sense of alarm. This enthusiasm steeply fades as the public realizes the price of the product they have been sold. 

Yet this process is based on the common sense to the common man. The U.K.’s former climate change chief Christopher Stark is immune to this determining factor. 

He displays the alarming detachment from reality which typifies the Net Zero zealot, and which Peiser warns is proving electorally – and industrially – suicidal.  

Speaking of the implementation of Net Zero, Stark claimed, against rapid deindustrialization, soaring energy prices, and former measures to restrict cars and home heating to costly and inferior alternatives, that “the lifestyle change that goes with this is not enormous at all.” 

This also ignores the likely “power cuts” that Britain will face, given a massive upsurge in Net Zero-driven electricity demand.

The Daily Telegraphreporting accusations from the Green lobby that Rishi Sunak was “abandoning” Net Zero, said on March 17 that without more gas fired power generation, support for Net Zero “would collapse.”

The report continued that “the U.K. would almost certainly endure power cuts, causing civic and commercial havoc, without more gas-fired baseload in place.” 

The piece concludes with a verdict which is now becoming a theme: “And then the case for tackling climate change, already increasingly questioned, would become politically toxic.”

The rule of law – or the rule of lawyers

As Peiser notes, this toxification has weakened the power of politics itself, with the rule of law being replaced by the rule of lawyers. He notes a recent ruling by the European Court of Human Rights, which condemned the Swiss government for “violations of the Convention [on Human Rights] for failing to implement sufficient measures to combat climate change.” 

Peiser said the ruling showed that democratic majorities do not have the legal power to refuse an agenda enforced by activist judges. He went on:

The judges in their in their ruling said it’s kind of naive to think that democracy would work just with majorities in Parliament and that only judges can rule or decide what makes legal sense – that’s why it’s so important for judges to tell parliaments what they should do. 

That’s essentially what they were saying today.

Peiser was speaking on the same day the ruling was announced, which according to a Swiss report will “have a direct impact on the Council of Europe’s 46 member states” and that “its ramifications will extend to the whole world.” 

This element of legal insurrection is one direct example of how the sovereignty of democracy is being undermined. In this case, a group of elderly female climate campaigners received a sympathetic hearing from the ECHR’s presiding judge, Siofra O’Leary. Her judgment overruled the Swiss courts’ dismissal of the case. It read:

The Court found that the national courts had not provided convincing reasons as to why they had considered it unnecessary to examine the merits of the complaints. They had failed to take into consideration the compelling scientific evidence concerning climate change and had not taken the association’s complaints seriously.

As Peiser warns, we are ruled by Science Followers, whose emotional enthusiasm for the climate panic talks past the costs of the sale of this agenda. It is a product which most people now recognize promises the permanent collapse of living standards in the West, and is taking democracy down with cries for climate “justice.”

Suicidal policy vs. ‘populism’

Peiser says Net Zero is already “suicidal” – and not in name only. Changing the branding will not wash with voters, Peiser says, as the impact of cost and on freedom is “direct.” 

This, he says, is what is driving the beginning of the end of Net Zero. 

“Europeans have been told that this Net Zero issue and renewables and so on will make life easier for people.” Instead, he says, “the opposite has happened.”

They’ve been told that energy costs would go down. They’ve gone up.

He observes a factor which could apply to practically any of the policies he also claims are driving “populism.” 

So people are beginning to realize that what they’ve been told hasn’t actually materialized. 

The opposite has materialized.

Peiser himself notes that this “opposite effect” is driving the rise of “populist parties … skeptical of mass immigration, of Net Zero and of other mainstream policies.” 

He says, “I don’t know exactly why they’re called populist but something makes them popular.”

Yet his own presentation shows a simple explanation. What is called “populism” is simply a reaction to the insanity of the policies of national suicide presented as wisdom. The emergence of these parties is the opposite reaction to a political system whose every argument is a contradiction of reality. 

Peiser says that this political correction is coming, and soon.

The mainstream parties are concerned that they will hemorrhaging voters. 

That’s what the prospects are for the elections in June.

His assessment is shared by the European Council on Foreign Relations, which predicted a “sharp right turn” in the forthcoming E.U. Parliament elections. 

He says that for Europe “there might be – for the first time – a center right populist majority in Parliament. If that were to happen of course all bets are off.” 

What is more, Peiser concludes that political climate change is coming home – to yours:

That’s the situation in Europe which sooner or later will come to a theater close to you.

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Energy

Halfway Between Kyoto and 2050: Zero Carbon Is a Highly Unlikely Outcome

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From the Fraser Institute

By Vaclav Smil

The global goal to achieve “net-zero” carbon emissions by 2050 is impractical and unrealistic, finds a new study published today by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank.

“The plan to eliminate fossil fuels and achieve a net-zero economy faces formidable economic, political and practical challenges,” said Vaclav Smil, professor emeritus at the University of Manitoba and author of Halfway Between Kyoto and 2050: Zero Carbon Is a Highly Unlikely Outcome.

Canada is now also committed to this goal. In 2021, the federal government passed legislation mandating that the country will achieve “net-zero” emissions—that is, will either emit no greenhouse gas emissions or offset its emissions through other activities (e.g. tree planting)—by 2050.

Yet, despite international agreements and significant spending and regulations by governments worldwide, global dependence on fossil fuels has steadily increased over the past three decades. By 2023, global fossil fuel consumption was 55 per cent higher than in 1997 (when the Kyoto Protocol was adopted). And the share of fossil fuels in global energy consumption has only slightly decreased, dropping from 86 per cent in 1997 to 82 per cent in 2022 (the latest year of complete production data).

Widespread adoption of electric vehicles—also a key component of Ottawa’s net-zero plan—by 2040 will require more than 40 times more lithium and up to 25 times more cobalt, nickel and graphite worldwide (compared to 2020 levels). There are serious questions about the ability to achieve such increases in mineral and metal production.

Although the eventual cost of global decarbonization cannot be reliably quantified, achieving zero carbon by 2050 would require spending substantially higher than for any previous long-term peacetime commitments. Moreover, high-income countries (including Canada) are also expected to finance new energy infrastructure in low-income economies, further raising their decarbonization burdens.

Finally, achieving net-zero requires extensive and sustained global cooperation among countries—including China and India—that have varied levels of commitment to decarbonization.

“Policymakers must face reality—while ending our reliance on fossil fuels may be a desirable long-term goal, it cannot be accomplished quickly or inexpensively,” said Elmira Aliakbari, director of natural resource studies at the Fraser Institute.

Summary

  • This essay evaluates past carbon emission reduction and the feasibility of eliminating fossil fuels to achieve net-zero carbon by 2050.
  • Despite international agreements, government spending and regulations, and technological advancements, global fossil fuel consumption surged by 55 percent between 1997 and 2023. And the share of fossil fuels in global energy consumption has only decreased from nearly 86 percent in 1997 to approximately 82 percent in 2022.
  • The first global energy transition, from traditional biomass fuels such as wood and charcoal to fossil fuels, started more than two centuries ago and unfolded gradually. That transition remains incomplete, as billions of people still rely on traditional biomass energies for cooking and heating.
  • The scale of today’s energy transition requires approximately 700 exajoules of new non-carbon energies by 2050, which needs about 38,000 projects the size of BC’s Site C or 39,000 equivalents of Muskrat Falls.
  • Converting energy-intensive processes (e.g., iron smelting, cement, and plastics) to non-fossil alternatives requires solutions not yet available for largescale use.
  • The energy transition imposes unprecedented demands for minerals including copper and lithium, which require substantial time to locate and develop mines.
  • To achieve net-zero carbon, affluent countries will incur costs of at least 20 percent of their annual GDP.
  • While global cooperation is essential to achieve decarbonization by 2050, major emitters such as the United States, China, and Russia have conflicting interests.
  • To eliminate carbon emissions by 2050, governments face unprecedented technical, economic and political challenges, making rapid and inexpensive transition impossible.
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Energy

Reports of the Impending Death of Petroleum Have Been Greatly Exaggerated

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From EnergyNow.ca

By Jim Warren

There is a good chance climate activists smugly celebrating the collapse of conventional energy production within a generation are wildly mistaken. It is just as plausible that the time between today and ‘sunset’ for petroleum will run several decades beyond ‘net zero day’ in 2050. Actually, both predictions are suspect. History has shown people are rarely able to foresee conditions three or more decades into the future with any great precision.

Yet it seems sections of the investment community and the legacy news media assume our geopolitical future will be governed by the race to achieve net zero. They see the green transition as inevitable as death and taxes and presume oil will be sidelined accordingly.

A CBC news item that aired on March 16 boldly led with the prediction that the recently completed Trans Mountain pipeline is “likely the last new oil export pipeline the country will ever need.” The reporter was clearly caught up in a chicken and egg conundrum. He mused that due to declining production over the next decade we wouldn’t need any new pipelines. Here’s a thought, if increases in production do indeed taper off it will likely be because we can’t get enough pipelines built. Of course some CBC reporters and their fellow travellers in the climate alarmist camp never let logic get in the way of writing jubilant obituaries for the fossil fuel industries. One of the problems for conventional energy producers is that lots of people, including potential investors, have been drinking the same Kool-Aid as the media.

If the climate alarmists really have won the day, the window of opportunity is closing or has already closed on significant oil sands plant expansions, new pipelines to tidewater and any future boom in conventional oil production. After all, who wants to invest in infrastructure projects that will take a decade or more to be approved, could later be cancelled, or taxed into insolvency well before the end of their productive life spans?

No matter how long the window for viable investments remains open, one thing is clear—the Justin Trudeau government has already shortened it by a decade or more. During the eight year oil price depression that began in late 2014, new pipelines to tidewater were the one glimmer of hope for an improvement in the prices received by Canadian exporters. With more than 90,000 jobs lost in oil and gas production, manufacturing and construction by 2017, there were a lot of unemployed people in the producing provinces looking for a break. Northern Gateway, Energy East and Trans Mountain would of course allow Canadian producers to avoid the steep discounts they were subject to in the US for a significant proportion of their exports. The Trudeau Liberals cancelled any hope for that modestly brighter future.

Trans Mountain was the exception. It was the consolation prize to make up for the cancellations of Northern Gateway, Energy East and the Keystone XL. And yes, amazingly, the federal government finally got it built. It was touch and go. We were always just one bird nest away from another lengthy delay.

But wait, take heart. There is mounting evidence to suggest the hand wringing climate activists and cautious investors could have it all wrong. The goals of the green transition will probably take many more decades to achieve than they imagine.

In fact, recent events suggest the whole green transition project could actually be coming off the rails. Europe’s Green politicians are being clobbered at the polls while climate change skeptics from populist and conservative parties continue to attract voters and win elections. Green transition initiatives have been postponed and cancelled in several EU countries and the UK. The principal cause of the retreat is popular resistance to green transition initiatives that contribute to what is already an unacceptably high cost of living.

For instance, the Yellow Vests protests in France forced President Emmanuel Macron to forego a number of unpopular fuel tax measures including a carbon tax. But that wasn’t until after 11 people died and over 4,000 were injured as a result of the protests. The protests began in November 2018 and have continued sporadically to the present.

Protests by farmers in the Netherlands in 2019 beat back GHG reduction measures which would have restricted nitrogen fertilizer use and cut the national cow herd by one-half. Farmers refused to accept the assault on their incomes and plugged the country’s highways with their tractors. One of their demonstrations was reported to have caused 1000 km of traffic jams. In another protest they shut down Eindhoven airport for a day. Members of one of the more militant groups participating in the protests, the Farmers Defense Force, threatened civil war.

A new political party, the Farmer-Citizen Movement (Dutch: BBB), arose out of the Dutch farm protests. In March of 2023, the BBB won the popular vote in Netherlands’ provincial elections (they are all held on the same day) and the majority of seats in each of the country’s 12 provinces. The victory is all the more significant because the provincial governments choose who sits in the national Senate which has the power to block legislation. Protests by farmers over similar green transition projects have been occurring in France, Belgium and Germany.

The German government’s ambitious heat pump mandate had to be postponed and rethought. The ineptitude of environmentally-friendly bureaucrats who came up with the scheme was evident in the fact they still hadn’t figured out which type of heat pumps would work best under different conditions. For example, the heat pumps’ inability to operate effectively in cold weather was one of the details planners had overlooked. Additionally, they neglected to train enough technicians in heat pump installation to actually put them in people’s homes. Green politicians and their allies in government were blamed for the technical debacle and high costs for consumers. As a result, populists and likeminded conservative candidates have been defeating the Greens and Social Democrats in regional elections.

The October 2023 state elections in economically and politically powerful Hesse and Bavaria provided two of the more significant (and startling) losses in support of Germany’s three party governing coalition that includes the social democrats and the Greens. What the coalition parties lost, the right-wing populist Alternative for Germany (AfD) and conservatives won. (The Greens claim the AfD are “climate change denialists.”)  The AfD is now the second largest party in terms of voter support in Hesse and the third largest in Bavaria. The online publication Energy Wire observed that the AfD platform featured concern for the flagging German economy, high energy prices, climate policy, the energy transition and immigration (in that order). More recently the Greens were the biggest losers in this May’s vote in the city state of Bremen. The Green’s 11.7% share of the vote was their poorest showing in 25 years.

Last year’s auction of UK government contracts for new offshore wind farms failed to receive a single bid. Under the auction scheme companies who purchased permits to build wind farms would receive a guaranteed premium price for the electricity they produced. The premium offered was too low to attract any interest. The Sunak government was simply not prepared to weather the consumer backlash that would accompany raising the guaranteed premium price high enough to attract bidders. Increasing the premium would require increasing electrical bills and/or taxes paid by British voters.

Melting glaciers are apparently not enough to convince some Europeans to open their wallets in support of achieving net zero. This applies even in the heart of the Alps in Switzerland. The 2020 Swiss referendum on a plan for achieving net zero GHG emissions by 2050 was soundly defeated. A significantly revised plan was later approved, but only after carbon taxes had been removed in favour of a carbon offset system and a number of other tax measures had been withdrawn. The Economist reported that one of the loudest lobby groups opposing the first referendum was the organization for Swiss resort and hotel owners. The carbon tax threatened to raise the cost of making artificial snow.

Europe’s Greens hoped to take a victory lap after recent increases in the number of solar power farms being built across Europe; especially in Germany. They have been woefully disappointed. Their promises about the thousands of new jobs that would be created by the transition to renewables proved empty and voters are not impressed. It turns out 95% of the solar systems installed in Europe are imported from Asia, mostly from China. With the exception of some local installation work, the lion’s share of the economic benefits and jobs go to Chinese firms.

No less embarrassing is the fact that one third of the essential components for Chinese solar systems are sourced from Xinjiang Province where manufacturers are known to be using forced labour. Members of the region’s Uyghur minority, who are being held prisoner in “reeducation camps,” provide the captive labour. Europe’s own solar panel producers are lobbying for relief in the form of trade restrictions on Chinese imports and/or EU subsidies. Solar system advocates in the west are between the proverbial rock and a hard place. To create the promised jobs will likely require stiff tariffs that will in turn increase the cost of solar energy and contribute to the public backlash over the already high cost of living.

Europe’s solar power dilemma echoes the French populist, Marine Le Pen’s, critique of global free trade: “Globalization is when slaves in China make things to sell to the unemployed in the west.” Le Pen came second in the last French presidential election. She has a shot at winning the next one which will be held three years from now. Le Pen is an EU skeptic who is unlikely to readily buy into its suite of exceedingly zealous GHG reduction targets and green transition policies; especially those relying heavily on foreign imports.

European auto makers have geared up their electric car production capabilities in anticipation of the EU ban on the manufacturing of new internal combustion passenger vehicles set for 2035. They are currently worried Chinese electric vehicle makers (EVs) are going to eat their lunch. The zippy little EVs made in China are far less expensive than European models. Chinese EV exports grew by 70% last year to just over $34 billion. As is the case with solar systems, the employment benefits associated with the transition to electric vehicles will be enjoyed in China not Europe. Apparently, European auto makers are frantically lobbying their governments to follow Joe Biden’s example and impose hefty tariffs on Chinese made EVs. If the car makers get their wish, jobs will be saved in Europe but the costs to European car buyers will be higher than they would be if they could buy Chinese autos. Europe’s EV problems involve the same sort of high costs versus jobs Catch 22 plaguing the EU’s solar system manufacturers. Whichever way things go, a lot of voters will be unhappy.

The growing list of failed and failing green transition initiatives is in part responsible for the surge in support for populist and conservative parties in Europe (Poland’s general election being a recent exception). And, most of Europe’s populist politicians are openly opposed to measures that increase taxes and the cost of living on behalf of combating climate change. The electoral success of the right-wing populist party, the Party for Freedom (Dutch: PVV) in the Netherlands’ November 2023 federal election is a case in point. The PVV is led by the infamous anti-immigration populist, Geert Wilders.

Wilders is not a climate change denier. He just doesn’t want to ruin the Dutch economy to combat it. Dutch environmentalists warn sea level rise caused by climate change warrants a significant reductions in GHG emissions; particularly in a country where 26% of the land is below sea level. Wilders’ solution is to just build the dikes higher.

The PVV won more seats than any other party in 2023 giving it the plurality but not a majority in the Dutch parliament. On May 16, four parties including the PVV and the Farmer-Citizen Movement (BBB) finally cobbled together a coalition government. Geert Wilders will become prime minister sometime this June. Obviously, neither the PVV or the BBB are fans of the EU’s climate change mitigation policies.

Closer to home, should Donald Trump win this November’s U.S. presidential election, progress toward net zero will virtually cease in the US for at least the next four years. And, in Canada, if current federal polling numbers hold up until Trudeau finally calls an election, we can expect the cancellation of a number of Liberal environmental initiatives; presumably, the No More Pipelines Bill and the carbon tax in particular.

The foregoing examples of recent setbacks, along with stories told by the tea leaves, indicate the road toward a green transition will be pitted with potholes and subject to roadblocks. Achieving net zero by 2050 is far from a slam dunk. Oil production is just as likely to prove far more robust than the environmental movement imagines.

Then again, if science figures out how to contain fusion reactions for extended periods of time in the next decade or so, all bets are off. Nobody knows for certain what the future holds when it comes to geopolitical conditions and energy production thirty to fifty years from today. The economist, John Maynard Keynes, claimed the only consolation for those foolishly trying accurately to predict events over the long run, was that “In the long run we are all dead.”

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